Name and Title: 
Vance Stevens, EFL instructor

School or Organization Name: 
Higher Colleges of Technology, CERT, KBZAC

Area of the World from Which to Present: 
Al Ain UAE

Language of presentation:

Target Audience(s):
Teachers wishing to pursue, and anyone interested in engaging teachers in, professional development

Short Session Description (one line):

This session discusses how certain affordances of cMOOCs can be applied effectively in teacher professional development and training.

Full Session Description:

Electronic Village Online (EVO, is a series of “class roots” professional development sessions that have been put on by teachers for other teachers over 5 weeks in January and February each year since 2001. They are organized and implemented by volunteer coordinators and session moderators from countries all over the world, and are offered for free to participants from around the globe as a service to the profession. Thus EVO significantly increases opportunities for building education-related connections worldwide

Although anyone can propose to give a session, there is a quality control procedure. Proposals are vetted and those with potential are provisionally accepted pending session moderators' completion of training each November. The training is designed to ensure that each session included in the general call for participation in December meets standards expected of trainers in the profession. This system invites innovation and creativity in how sessions are mounted, as each should not simply train teachers in a skill or expertise, but should model how such training can be applied to learners.

One such model is MOOC, in particular cMOOC. A MOOC is by definition a massive open online course. The term MOOC was coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier and / or Brian Alexander, who were involved in the seminal MOOC that year called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, the first of many of what became known as cMOOC ( Many people however associate the term MOOC with the xMOOC model initiated by Peter Norvik  and Sebastian Thrun in 2011, the latter of whom went on to start Udacity. Coursera appeared soon after, followed by EdX, whose name Siemens co-opted in making the between cMOOCs (or connectivist MOOCs) and xMOOCs (Siemens, 2012).

Some who have engaged in online training for the past decade or more are considering whether what they have been doing might have fallen under the definition of MOOC all along. EVO, now in its 15th year, could conceivably claim to be a precursor MOOC by virtue of its comprising a set of courses conducted entirely online, leaving behind permanent artifacts on open access, and reaching thousands of participants each year.

As instances of online courses, both xMOOCs and cMOOCs utilize what has become known as flipped learning, an idea that many consider to have been first implemented on a wide scale in Khan Academy courses in 2004 ( However, this common feature of MOOCs belies other significant differences.

In guiding development of future EVO sessions, it’s worth looking at what characterizes and distinguishes cMOOCs from xMOOCs. This presentation lists affordances of the former which resonate with what normally happens in EVO sessions; e.g. use of social media, participant driven content, distributed communication, and no formal assessment, as specified in an article by Bates (2014) which is being used in EVO training this year.

Furthermore, EVO is all about networking. The sessions strongly build content not only from a set syllabus in each course but in most cases from the discussion and creativity brought to each subject by participants from diverse perspectives from all over the globe. Thus EVO can benefit from considering its activities to be informed by elements of the cMOOC framework.

This presentation will suggest that teacher training has much to gain from the cMOOC model of learning through exploring a topic and negotiating social consensus as opposed to the xMOOC model of learning through prescribed and guided training. Online courses (e.g. EVO sessions) should have elements of guidance as well as social networking, but this presentation suggests, as does Cormier (2008), that the community can be instrumental in setting the curriculum, and that learning in a setting where learning outcomes are not clear from the beginning (as in learning languages for example) can draw for success from the cMOOC model. When this model is transposed onto courses that take place in an international arena, further benefits from fertile cross-cultural perspectives accrue from adopting the cMOOC approach.

Websites / URLs Associated with Session:

Bates, A. W. (2014), Comparing xMOOCs and cMOOCs: Philosophy and Practice. Online learning and distance education resources. Available: (also available as Variations of MOOC Designs, Chapter 5.3 in Bates' open textbook, Teaching in a Digital Age, 2015).

Cormier, D. (2008). Rhizomatic Education: Community as Curriculum. Innovate: Journal of Online Education 4, 5:np. Available:

Siemens, G. (2012). MOOCs are really a platform. Elearnspace. Available:

Stevens, V. (2014). What we learn from MOOCs about Professional Development and Flipping Classrooms - GLoCALL Ahmedabad 2014. AdVancEducation. Available: Also,

Stevens, V. (2013). From teacher networked learning to transformation in your classroom. AdVancEducation. Available:

Further Notes:

The post at has links to all recordings from the recent 2105 Global Education Conference GEC #globaled15 and highlights the presentation by Vance Stevens on Why Online Teacher Trainers Should Know about cMOOCs. There are YouTube and (downloadable) mp3 embeds of the presentation as well as the link to the Bb Collaborate rendition, the BbC text chat, and Vance's slides.

The talk was followed by a discussion meant for EVO moderators of how MOOCs can inform design of Electronic Village Online #EVOsessions, and you can find there also the BbC recording, link to its text chat, and mp3 rendition as well. Finally there are links to session recordings of our community of practice members at GEC: Benjamin Stewart @bnleez and Rita Zeinstejer @RitaZ

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Hi Vance -

Thanks for submitting a proposal. As our mission notes, this is not a general education or technology conference. We need to have clear language in proposals that ties to some sort of international aspect. Perhaps that's implied here, but we'd like to see that your proposal refers to some of the ideas mentioned here: .

To edit your proposal, go to the OPTIONS button in the upper righthand corner. When you've made your changes, let me know and I'll approve your proposal!



For the benefit of viewers passing here, the above suggestions were acted on, the event was approved, and it has been scheduled for Nov 17 at 1400 UTC / GMT. Here is that time where you are:

Hope to see you there, Vance

This session will take place in Bb Collaborate

You can find more information about this event, including the slides, posted here 



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